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Assistant Professor - African American Studies

San Jose State University
San Jose, California, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Sep 28, 2023

Job Details

Position Rank and Title: Assistant Professor of African American Studies

School/Department Name: Department of African American Studies

Compensation: Commensurate with qualifications, experience, and rank as established by the CSU Salary Schedule . Anticipated hiring academic year annual salary range: $ 83,000 - $88,000/annually. See Benefits Summary for details about the CSU’s excellent employment benefits.

Target Start Date: August 15, 2024

Application Deadline: January 15, 2024 - Extended Deadline. Applications accepted until filled or closed.

Position Description

The Department of African American (AFAM) Studies at San José State University invites applications for tenure-track appointment at the rank of assistant professor with specialization in gender and sexualities beginning August 2024. Candidates with research interests in popular culture and race and new media studies are strongly encouraged to apply. Following a mission to provide students throughout the University with critical, interdisciplinary, and specialized knowledge about African American and African Diaspora populations and communities, our curriculum, programming, and scholarship aim to further the intellectual study of Black life and experience within the United States (U.S.) and the Diaspora from multiple perspectives—cultural, historical, philosophical, political, religious, social, and theoretical—in service to our students and society.

Being one of the departments that emerged from the social unrest and radical tradition of activism and protest that occurred during the civil rights, Black Power, and antiwar movements in the 1960s and the 1970s, the campus itself would be catapulted into the national spotlight following San José State students, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, giving the now iconic Black Power fist salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games while receiving the gold and bronze medals to the backdrop of the US national anthem. In this spirit, the Department continues to remain grounded in a radical tradition of creative intellectual thought while maintaining a reputation for student mentorship and scholarly collaboration across the College. AFAM faculty are trained in various disciplines with distinct community and research interests that contribute to a vibrant community of activist scholars.

AFAM offers an undergraduate major and two minor concentrations (African American Studies and Black Women’s Studies). Additionally, AFAM offers a BA + Master of Arts in Teaching (4+1) degree in connection with the Spartan Accelerated Graduate Education Scholars program. This degree program is designed to prepare graduates to teach History, Social Science, and Ethnic Studies in California public high schools. Furthermore, AFAM is one of three departments at SJSU that offers courses under the new CSU Ethnic Studies requirement.

The successful candidate must be able to teach in the general area of Black Studies. This includes the curricular areas of African American Communities; Black Health and Development; Africa/African Diaspora; Art, Media, and Popular Culture; and Black Politics and Culture. The teaching assignment is normally six classes per academic year.

The Department is particularly interested in candidates who center and incorporate interdisciplinary approaches within Black Studies or intersectional Black perspectives into their research and teaching. The successful candidate is expected to teach and develop courses in their areas of expertise and contribute to other related areas of the curriculum.

In joining the Department, faculty commit to educating students about the Black experience in the United States, elsewhere in the Americas, and the Diaspora and to the growth and development of the Department, the College of Social Sciences, and the University.

The Department of African American Studies and San José State University value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Our excellence in research, teaching, and service can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. SJSU enrolls more than 36,000 students, many of whom are historically underserved, and around 45% are first-generation and 38% are Pell-recipients. SJSU is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPISI) Serving Institution. The university’s commitment to social justice extends from its vibrant, inclusive campus to an international network of over 275,000 alumni. As such, San José State is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty so our disciplines, students, and the community can benefit from multiple ethnic and gender perspectives.

The successful candidate will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to equity and inclusion through their research, teaching, and/or service. To do this, we ask that all applicants include a Diversity Statement with their application package. A guide to writing this statement can be found at SJSU Diversity Statement Guidelines , along with information about how these statements will be evaluated.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in African American/Africana/Black Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, American Studies, History, Literature, Cultural Studies, or a related field from an accredited university. (A.B.D. and M.F.A. candidates may be considered. Ph.D. must be conferred by the start of the appointment.)
  • Record of scholarly activity or demonstrated commitment to scholarly activity.
  • Demonstrated commitment to teaching excellence and advising for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the educational goals of a multicultural and socially diverse student population as might have been gained in cross-cultural study, training, teaching, and other comparable experience
  • Effective communication and demonstrated effectiveness in communicating and collaborating with a range of constituents (e.g., students, community members, faculty colleagues, administrators).

Preferred Qualifications

Priority will be given to candidates who possess one or more of the following:
  • Strong record of teaching excellence and a record of service
  • Willingness to examine and participate in professional development around instructional, relational, and classroom practices to more effectively engage and support historically underserved students.
  • An understanding of how historical patterns of exclusion within higher education influence student participation and outcomes
  • Evidence of undergraduate and graduate student mentoring

Key Responsibilities

  • The candidate will teach and develop undergraduate and graduate courses in specialty areas.
  • The candidate will participate in General Education and program assessment.
  • Maintain an active research agenda
  • The candidate will participate in shared governance, usually in department, college, and university committees and other service assignments.
  • The candidate will demonstrate awareness and experience understanding the needs of a student population of great diversity—in age, abilities, cultural background, ethnicity, religion, economic background, primary language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and academic preparation—through inclusive course materials, teaching strategies and advising.
  • The candidate will participate in shared governance, usually in department, college, and university committees and other service assignments.
  • Faculty shall organize all their classes within the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).
  • The candidate must demonstrate awareness and experience understanding the needs of a student population of great diversity – in age, abilities, cultural background, ethnicity, religion, economic background, primary language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and academic preparation – through inclusive course materials, teaching strategies and advising.

Other Duties

Note that all San José State University employees are considered mandated reporters under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and are required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) and CSU systemwide policy, some faculty duties may lead to designation as a Campus Security Authority (CSA). CSAs are required to complete Clery Act training and to immediately report Clery incidents to the institution.

Faculty employees must complete CSU employee training as assigned and required based on their role (e.g., Data Security, FERPA, Preventing Discrimination and Harassment, Title IX, Health and Safety). The President may recommend or require compliance with safety measures that decrease the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission or illness and allows the core mission and activities of the campus to continue.

Application Procedure

Click Apply Now to complete the SJSU Online Employment Application and attach the following documents:
  • letter of interest
  • curriculum vitae
  • diversity statement
  • statement of teaching interests/philosophy
  • research plans
  • three references with contact information
Inquiries may be directed to the Search Committee Chair: Wendy M. Thompson ( ).

Conditional Offer

The work for this faculty position is located in the State of California and requires commuting to the campus. Employment is contingent upon US residence and proof of eligibility to work in the United States. Satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check) is required for employment. SJSU will make a conditional offer of employment, which may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the continued employment of a current employee who was conditionally offered the position.

San José State University: Silicon Valley's Public University

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley — one of the most innovative regions in the world — San José State University is the founding campus of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system and the first public university in the West. Recognized as a leading transformative educational institution, San José State is an essential partner in the technological, economic, cultural, and social development of Silicon Valley, the Bay Area, and California. SJSU is a top-200 school nationally in research funding and second highest in research productivity in the CSU system. Cutting-edge research, world-class scholarship, student-centered learning, diverse communities, and commitment to social justice, allow SJSU to provide life-changing opportunities and advance the public good locally and globally.

Equal Employment Statement

San José State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of Age, Ancestry, Caste, Color, Disability, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Expression, Gender Identity, Genetic Information, Marital Status, Medical Condition, Military Status, Nationality, Race, Religion, Religious Creed, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Sex Stereotype, and Veteran Status. This policy applies to all San José State University students, faculty, and staff as well as University programs and activities. Reasonable accommodations are made for applicants with disabilities who self-disclose.

Campus Security and Fire Safety Notification

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Annual Security Report (ASR) is also now available for viewing at . The ASR contains the current security and safety-related policy statements, emergency preparedness and evacuation information, crime prevention and Sexual Assault prevention information, and information about drug and alcohol prevention programming. The ASR also contains statistics of Clery crimes for San José State University locations for the three most recent calendar years. A paper copy of the ASR is available upon request by contacting the Office of the Clery Director by phone at 408-924-1501 or by email at

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the Annual Fire Safety Report (AFSR) is available at . The purpose of this report is to disclose statistics for fires that occurred within SJSU on-campus housing facilities for the three most recent calendar years, and to distribute fire safety policies and procedures intended to promote safety on Campus. A paper copy of the AFSR is available upon request by contacting the Housing Office by phone at 408-795-5600 or by email at

Advertised: November 14, 2023 (9:00 AM) Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:


San Jose State University

As one of the most transformative universities in the nation, San José State is ready for big change. As part of Transformation 2030, SJSU's strategic plan, the campus community is dedicated to realizing the university's potential as a nationally prominent urban public university. San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study. With approximately 36,000 students and nearly 4,300 employees, SJSU is an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and California. 

In collaboration with nearby industries and communities, SJSU faculty and staff are dedicated to achieving the university's mission as a responsive institution of the state of California: To enrich the lives of its students, to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society, and to expand the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.

Founded in 1857, San José State's history began before the Civil War, as the first State Normal School, which trained teachers who educated the people of a young California. Now, SJSU is a dynamic comprehensive university that anchors the 10th largest city in the United States, and Spartans are found around the globe. 

Faculty members combine research, scholarship and creative activity with industry or practical experience—incubating a problem-solving and entrepreneurial mindset. 

Joining the SJSU community means becoming part of an organization that has worldwide impact. Along with its rich history, SJSU is a dynamic and diverse community in the heart of downtown San José. Embark on your future at SJSU!

As employees of the California State University (CSU), you have a comprehensive program of health benefits including medical, dental, vision, flexible benefits programs and more available to you and, in many instances, your family. Additionally, you may be eligible to extend your health, dental and vision benefits to dependents up to age 26.

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